How do Adventures work?
Adventures unfold through a unique blend of storytelling and game play. Think of your favorite action story. If you break that story down to its basic structure, chances are you have a hero (or heroes) who must overcome a series of obstacles to achieve an objective. In Star Wars: A New Hope, for example, Luke Skywalker had to evade Stormtroopers on Tatooine, escape the Death Star, and fly his X-Wing through a perilous gauntlet to ultimately save the day.
Grand Adventures work off that same basic formula. Children, working together, are the heroes of the story. The obstacles they encounter are presented as a series of fun and cooperative games or puzzles, called challenges. As the heroes complete the challenges, they play their way through the story all the way to the Adventure’s end.
Really, it's as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Step 1: Story
A bit of the story is conveyed through storytelling or interaction with an artifact. Artifacts are props created for a specific adventure.
Example: The Adventurers receive a letter asking for their help finding a lost treasure.
Step 2: Play
The Adventurers encounter an obstacle, or challenge. Challenges are games or puzzles that occur in the context of the story.
Example: A coded map accompanies the letter. The Adventurers must solve the code to follow the map.
Step 3: Repeat
Overcoming a challenge unlocks more of the story. That leads to another challenge. Which leads to more story… and so on.
Example: The map leads the Adventurers to a lost temple (story) but to enter they must sneak past the enchanted guardians (play).
The best reason to join a Grand Adventure is that they're fun. Beyond that, though, Grand Adventures offer a wealth of positive outcomes for participants.
The cooperative aspect of the challenges embeds a social component into the programming that builds teamwork skills, encourages positive communication, and helps young people develop an appreciation for those with different skills and perspectives. Adventures also encourage non-violent approaches to problem solving. Villains are defeated by wits, not weapons.
Adventures offers a literacy rich experience that includes and transcends the traditional activities of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Children experience story elements such as character, setting, and plot first hand. The integration of story with play is particularly beneficial for reluctant readers who come for the games but stay for the engaging stories.
Adventures are designed to get kids up and moving. Children sneak, run, jump, laugh, and play their way through each story. Books, television, movies, video games, and theater can all be wonderful mediums through which to tell a story. Grand Adventures, however, allow children to experience story in a far more active and physical way.